gilest.org

bwrss wrap-up
“Been gone a long time”

A screenshot of the folder on my Mac with used bwrss images in it

This post has changed a bit since I first published it last week, on 4 July. Since then I’ve had more feedback that’s given it a happier ending.

The bwrss project is done. Did it succeed? YES.

The idea was to promote RSS feeds, to remind people that they exist, to encourage people to use them.

I have a feeling it worked well for people who think the same way as me, and who still use a feedreader anyway.

I wasn’t sure that it reached anyone else. That might be partly my fault for not pushing it harder on social media, but I hate pushing things hard on social media. Ugh.

It felt odd to be publishing to just a feed, not a website that has a feed.

That in turn made it feel different - as if it was closer to its readers. A bit like the feeling you get writing an email newsletter compared to writing a blog post. It felt more intimate, if that’s the right word.

RSS isn’t where photos should live

One thing I’m sure about is that RSS is not a good way to share photos. I knew that before I started, and so did you, but allow me to make the point again now.

A good way to share photos is on the web. On an open, public, accessible web page with a permanent URL that you can link to from elsewhere.

Instagram is not a good way of sharing photos. Everyone uses it, though.

Flickr is a good way of sharing photos. Hardly anyone I know uses it anymore. Just a few people. (Hi Phil! Hi Russell! Hi Ben!)

A little feedback

I explicitly asked for feedback at the end of the whole thing.

By far the best bit of feedback, and the bit that made me decide the whole project had been a success, was this from Lawrence:

I’ve downloaded NetNewsWire and I’m back on RSS. Thank you. Been gone a long time, it’s good to be free of all the noise.

Lawrence is now one of my favouritest people in the whole world.

Warren said:

As an original Little Printer user, I found the personal picture publishing subscription a very pleasant thing indeed.

While I don’t really have time, or the background, for these kinds of projects, it did make me think about RSS publishing as its own thing. Of a piece with Craig Mod’s recent experiments in MMS publishing, perhaps, or Robin Sloan’s history of “media invention.” Thanks for it.

Any comparison with Little Printer, Craig Mod or Robin Sloan is a good comparison in my book. Thanks Warren!

Mike said:

It’s been really nice to see this mini resurgence of RSS taking hold. Funnily enough I was running a user research session today and one of the participants said a website we were discussing needed an RSS feed, so maybe it’s back on the rise 🤞 .

Randall said:

I love this use of RSS. I never stopped being an RSS enthusiast. I shared your feed with folks in my network in micro.blog and there was a bit of talk about the uniqueness of what you are doing.

Which was really nice to hear.

Finally, Larry said:

Yay! Nice pictures!

Thanks Larry.

Was it a good idea? I think it was.

Would I do it again? Maaaaaybe. Probably not exactly the same thing.

RSS is still good, though, right? Yes. Yes of course.


Filed under: projects
(posted: 4 July 2019; edited: 9 July 2019)